Pioneer Projects

Pioneer Projects training days with Underley Garden School are proving to be an inspiring, creative and therapeutic partnership full of fun, information and collaboration

Pioneer Projects was approached by Underley Gardens in 2017 and asked to explore the possibility of developing and delivering training which focused on creative engagement with their residents. In discussion with a Registered Manager and the Principal at Underley Gardens we decided to focus initially on supporting  staff to develop their confidence and skills in this area.

Underley Gardens is described as a ‘unique day and residential autism school for young people and adults from 5 years upwards with autism and complex needs’                 In January 2018 the school was judged by Ofsted to be Outstanding in all areas.

Quotes from participants in relation to the training days:

I became more confident and learned new skills.

Throughout the day we were learning new interactive techniques.

I enjoyed expressing myself through activities.

I got involved, especially with the dance.

It gave me a chance to clear my mind.

The training days have been enormously popular and well received with all those attending reporting benefits and enjoyment in the days. Importantly, the staff are able to identify positive changes in their work practices and being able to, ‘Relax and free up my head’.

The sessions have been led by experienced artists and the days designed to have practical application with people resident at Underley Gardens and in terms of self care for the staff.

The artists describe a highly motivated and engaged staff team and all participant feedback has been positive.

A Registered Manager at Underley Gardens writes:  ‘Staff confidence is growing.’  ‘Three of the eight young adults are joining in with dance and body movements / rhythm activities. Three of them are making speech and copying sounds made by staff.’   ‘Fun has become a regular dimension of our daily routine.’